-- Machine tools and related advanced manufacturing technologies have contributed nearly $1 trillion to the U.S. economy in the past five years, according to a new study by the Association of Manufacturing Technology. In addition to fueling a good portion of America's economic expansion in the past 10 years, advances in manufacturing technology have helped reduce the peaks and valleys of the U.S. business cycle. The study indicates that better machine tools have shortened process times and aided just-in-time inventory management procedures, thus smoothing out those bumpy inventory fluctuations.

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